Interview with a Youth Counselor (Part 2)

| December 15, 2008

What life is like onboard for the crew members who take care of your kids.

CruiseMates: How do American children differ from Canadian?

Cornish: Not by much. I've noticed, though, that American children say "what?" when you ask them a question, while in Canada, kids are taught to say "pardon?" -- especially to adults.

CruiseMates: How did your responsibilities change when you were promoted from youth counselor to youth supervisor?

Cornish: I started my first contract with NCL in May 2007 and was promoted to youth director in March 2008. I like the versatility and responsibility of being youth director, which includes purchasing supplies for the youth rooms; keeping track of inventory; scheduling youth counselors; and budgeting. I'm glad though that I still have plenty of contact with the children as youth supervisor.

CruiseMates: How often do you change youth activities programming?

Cornish: I make some minor changes to the activities each cruise. Sometimes that is just a matter of timing adjustments, so that we can fit all the activities in a morning or afternoon session. All NCL ships must offer Officer Snook (ocean conservation mascot) programming and the popular Spy Night activities.

CruiseMates: What kind of hours do cruise youth counselors work compared to cruise youth supervisors?

Cornish: While it depends on the ship and itinerary, I generally worked 45 to 55 hours a week as a youth counselor. Now, as a youth supervisor, I work about 70 to 78 hours a week!

CruiseMates: What is the typical length of youth counselor contracts?

Cornish: Most youth counselor contracts are for three months. Usually most youth counselors start on a seasonal basis (summers or winter holiday seasons, when the numbers of children aboard ship soar, hence the need for more youth counselors). They then work their way from seasonal staff to full time staff.

CruiseMates: How do you get the energy to deal with kids all day?

Cornish: When we're in port, there are fewer kids in the youth program. Thus, youth counselors get more time off, so we tend to sleep more on those days. Plus, we help energize each other while working together in the youth room!

Continue Article >> Interview with a Youth Counselor (Part 3)

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